Men’s tennis sweeps weekend competition, women collect a win and a loss

Photo credit: Josh Halper

The men’s and women’s Miami Hurricanes tennis teams were in action this past weekend. The men’s squad earned wins over Georgia Tech and Clemson, while the women dropped a close result at Georgia Tech before handling Clemson with ease.

Friday afternoon saw the Canes men’s team take a 6-1 win over the Yellow Jackets at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

UM got the day started on the right foot, with Franco Aubone and Benjamin Hannestad winning in doubles 6-3, and Bojan Jankulovski and Stephen Madonia coming out on top 6-2.

The two doubles wins gave Miami the doubles point before Stefan Milicevic and Adria Soriano Barrera could finish their set, maintaining a 5-4 lead when the match transitioned to singles. Hannestad’s dropped singles match was the lone blemish in the Hurricanes’ day, falling 6-1, 6-4 to GT’s Marcus McDaniel.

Elsewhere in singles, Soriano Barrera beat Andres Martin 6-2, 6-2, Jankulovski knocked off Keshav Chopra 6-4, 7-5 [10-7], Milicevic dispatched Pablo Schelcher 6-3, 3-6 [10-7], Aubone beat Brandon McKinney 6-3, 6-2, and Oren Vasser bested Brandon Freestone 6-1, 6-3.

Sunday afternoon saw a closer team win at home against Clemson, 4-3. The doubles point went down to the wire, with a single tiebreak being the deciding factor. Aubone/Hannestad won their set 6-3, while Milicevic/Soriano Barrera fell 6-1. The best two-out-of-three doubles point went to the Hurricanes only after Jankulovski/Madonia eked out a 7-6 (7-3) win.

The doubles was just a foreshadow of singles. Each time Miami seemed to have breathing room, a match on another court ended in Clemson’s favor. Jankulovski beat Clemson’s Ryuhei Azuma in the No. 3 singles match, 6-3, 6-2. But subsequently, Hannestad fell 7-5, 6-4 to the Tigers’ Teodor Giusca on the No. 2 court.

Miami’s No. 1 Soriano Barrera beat Yizhou Liu 6-3, 7-5, but Clemson battled back with Carlos Kelaidis beating UM’s No. 4 Madonia 6-1, 6-3. Vasser was defeated in the No. 6 match by Clemson’s Spencer Whitaker in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Miami won the decisive singles team point when Aubone beat Clemson’s Andrew Puscas on court No. 5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Canes’ men improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with their pair of wins.

Women earn split decisions

Miami’s women’s team meanwhile dropped a close 4-3 match at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Winning the doubles point put the Hurricanes at an advantage early in the match. Daevenia Achong and Maya Tahan fell 6-2, but Estela Perez-Somarriba and Isabella Pfennig won their set 6-0 and Diana Khodan and Florencia Urrutia followed suit 6-2.

But in spite of success in doubles, Miami couldn’t hold on for the overall win in singles. An upset occurred on court No. 1, when nationally second-ranked Perez-Somarriba fell to the Jackets’ Kenya Jones—herself No. 13 in the nation—3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Victoria Flores beat UM’s Achong 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Urrutia lost to GT’s Monika Dedaj 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, while the Canes’ Nada Dimovska was ousted 6-2, 6-3 by Carol Lee.

Even in defeat, Miami logged a couple of individual singles wins. Tahan prevailed over Rosie Garcia Gross 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6). And Pfennig beat Georgia Tech’s Gia Cohen 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

Any frustrations the Hurricanes had after losing Saturday were quickly extinguished Sunday at Clemson, as UM cruised to a 7-0 team win. Achong/Tehan did fall 6-3 in doubles—UM’s sole blemish Sunday. But that setback was erased as Perez-Somarriba/Pfennig won 6-1 and Khodan/Urrutia were victorious 6-4, handing the Canes the doubles point for the second time in as many days.

In singles, Perez-Somarriba recovered after her previous loss with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Eleni Louka. On court No. 2, Pfennig completed a perfect individual weekend with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Jenna Thompson. Achong knocked off Clemson’s Cristina Mayorova 6-2, 6-2 on court No. 3, and Urrutia beat CU’s Ali DeSpain 6-1, 6-2 on court No. 4. UM finished the shutout with a pair of wins on the Nos. 5 and 6 courts, with Tahan prevailing 6-2, 6-3 over Sophia Hatton and Khodan beating Zaina Nait Omar 7-5, 6-1.

The UM women sit at 3-3 and 1-1 in ACC play after the weekend’s matches.

Next up

The men’s program hosts Florida Gulf Coast in non-conference action Saturday, Feb. 27 before traveling for a pair of road tilts against Virginia and Virginia Tech on March 5 and March 7. The women meanwhile host Wake Forest and North Carolina State on Friday, Feb. 26, and Sunday, Feb. 27.